Sunday, June 19, 2011

Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls!

Packing is fun.  But even more fun is spending time with family.  We knew we had a ton to accomplish this weekend but even the impending trip to Africa couldn't keep us from a little fun on Saturday. 
My uncle has a wonderful little cabin in the mountains of North Carolina just a few hours from where I live.  He spends his winters in Florida and his summers in the mountains.  Quite a nice lifestyle if you ask me!

This weekend was his first weekend back in NC.  His daughters/my cousins were coming up with him for the weekend to celebrate his birthday and Father's Day.  I convinced Forbes it would be a wonderful idea to drive out to see them on Saturday.  It didn't take much convincing, Forbes loves Uncle Jimmy!
The weather was gorgeous in the mountains on Saturday.  It stormed just a little, but the temps were cool and that was a welcome change from the heat we have been experiencing.  We drove up the mountain to check out some pretty awesome waterfalls upon arriving.
Tiff and Tab spent their summers growing up on this mountain and got to experience all the wonderful charm of the Great Smoky Mountains.  It is such a beautiful place and I am so thankful we live close enough to visit often!
After spending some time on the mountain, we retreated back to the cabin where we met my Aunt Linda and her family.  They live just an hour away and also came up for the day to visit.  I didn't manage to snap very many photos of the whole family but I did capture this one of my beautiful little (second) cousin:
She has such a dollface!  Love her!

After lots of visiting, vibrant story-telling and snacks, it was time for a real meal.  Just the other day on Facebook my cousin Tiffany proclaimed that she wanted me to cook for her and I was happy to have just the opportunity!  Cooking for others in a pinch typically makes me pretty nervous.  I want to make sure that the vegan food I prepare for others is really tasty and filling.  I want to give vegans all over a good name and I would hate for anyone to leave after tasting my cooking feeling less than satisfied. 

My go-to dish when cooking for non-vegans and without much preparation is portabella mushrooms.  They are always satisfying and easy to cook!  I wanted them to be wonderful so I threw together a quick Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Mushroom Recipe.   The only changes I made were using olive oil instead of dressing and baking for 30 minutes in the oven instead of grilling. 
The mushrooms cleaned and marinated, ready to go.
Chopped spinach and artichokes also ready to go.

Combine and you have a delightful dish that will satisfy just about anyone!
Have you ever seen a more vibrant and tasteful looking oven? 

To accompany our meal we had roasted red potatoes and Tiff threw together a wonderful bruschetta appetizer.
Loaded on the french bread slices were thick cut bell peppers and tomatoes, fresh cut basil and mozzarella (for the non-vegans) as well as a drizzle of olive oil.  So delicious and all Tiff's idea!
Kitchen work is always more fun centered around an island with great company and help!
The final products:
(Ketchup of course!)

While not the most brilliant food photography, I assure you this meal is foolproof!  We were all delighted with dinner and our taste buds were wonderfully sated. 

A late night made for a very early morning today.  We set off for home at 5am.  We had a very important church service to make it back for.  This morning the church prayed over our Mwandi team and we couldn't resist seeing our church family one last time before we leave.  It seems odd that it will be over a month before we are at our own church again!  I will miss everyone so much! 

1 comment:

  1. A cabin in the mountains- how lovely! I dream of having one of those one day :)

    Good luck with packing!